Is This Serum's Star Ingredient The New Bakuchiol?

Alpyn Beauty thinks so.

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Bakuchiol isn't a word that easily rolls off the tongue, which is inconvenient since it's become one of the most talked about skincare ingredients in the past few years. The plant (which has roots in Chinese medicine) gets its hype from touting similar benefits to retinol without the associated irritation.

And because variety is the spice of life, clean skincare brands are looking into additional alternatives to retinol. One is Alpyn Beauty, whose new Wild Nettle & Niacinamide Firming Serum, which contains rambutan, a Southeast Asian fruit that's said to visibly firm and plump the skin.

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"There is one current supplier [of skincare ingredients] that purports that rambutan leaf extract shows anti-aging properties to boost collagen production," says Krupa Koestline, clean cosmetic chemist and founder of KKT Consultants. "Currently there aren't studies outside of the supplier's own clinical studies, but it's worth looking into as we do know that rambutan is filled with skin beneficial bioactives."

Koestline says these bioactives are found in the skin, pulp, and seeds of the fruit, and are antioxidant and antimicrobial. "The pulp alone is high in vitamin C and vitamin Bs including niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine," she says. "Meanwhile, the seed has high amounts of good fatty acids and essential and non-essential amino acids."

In addition to rambutan, this serum's formula contains niacinamide to help improve texture, tone, and fade dark spots, along with vitamin C-rich nettle sustainably foraged from Alpyn founder Kendra Kolb Butler's farm in Jackson Hole, WY.

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The milky texture of this serum melts right into my skin without leaving it sticky, which is great if I want to use it in my morning routine, which is often more rushed. That's another benefit of rambutan. Like bakuchiol, it can be used morning or night.

While it's too soon to tell whether the brightening ingredients in this serum have helped improve my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, I appreciate that the ingredients in this formula play nice with so many actives. And I did notice my skin is plumper and bouncier after I apply it.

But keep in mind that rambutan is still a newer ingredient in skincare. At the time of writing this story, I couldn't really find any other products that formulated with it. However, its benefits seem promising, and I wouldn't be surprised if it starts popping up in ingredient lists more often.

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.

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